In past years, the city has made deep investments into social services but little into fire. The fire department has requested a new station in the Mullan area for the past four years – a request the city has failed to fund.
One month removed from passing a budget that included a tax increase of 9.7%, members of the City Council on Wednesday considered a new spending proposal that would require the city to place $200,000 more each year into the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
Hess remained gracious in defeat and has few regrets over the job he did in filling the shoes of former Mayor John Engen, who held the job for nearly two decades and remains the city's longest sitting mayor.
County officials said local residents would have seen a tax decrease this year if not for the increased value of homes. The Legislature's failure to lower the residential tax rate from 1.35% to .94%, as recommended by DOR, also played a role.
Missoula County on Tuesday placed its official support behind an effort lead by Beaverhead County that's challenging the state's “consistent” levying of certain mills despite a provision in Montana law that requires a reduction in mills when taxable values increase.